NEW Leadership Academy attendees navigate office politics
Friday, February 8, 2013
More than 600 Network of
Executive Women members learned to be more "organizationally aware” during
the first 2013 Leadership Academy live webinar.
Organization with Savvy,” offered Feb. 7, 2013, gave an in-depth look at
identifying organizational relationships and engaging people in ways that
promote communication and career advancement. Career coach Jo
Miller, CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching, led the session with a new way to
consider "office politics” -- a term many feel has negative connotations -- by
renaming it "organizational awareness.” Organizational awareness’ encourages
career-minded professionals to observe the communication and relationships that
surround them, to become a "corporate anthropologist.”
Miller urged the webinar participants to say goodbye to the traditional organizational
chart method of examining relationships and to develop a for-your-eyes-only
picture of the shadow organization, which reflects valuable career factors such
as the relationships, influence, coalitions and key influencers that exist in the
workplace. Who are the key players?
Where is power and influence held in this system and organization?
After creating a
shadow organizational chart, create a strategic networking plan, Miller advised.
"The single most important asset you cultivate is your network, your sphere of
influence,” she said. "As your network grows, your ability to lead and
influence grows right along with it.”
One way to
approach network-building is to make a list of six people you should know
better, people whose value has been identified through the shadow organizational
chart. Detail the ways you might create
or enhance your relationship with each person, whether it includes attending a
company barbecue, staying late after a staff meeting to talk or merely inviting
that person for coffee, Miller said.
period was moderated by NEW Vice President of Learning and Advisory Services
Kathy Bayert. Answering a question about charting a shadow organization that is
new to the employee, Miller suggested doing a mapping exercise during the first
few weeks or months, but to "hold off on forming your impressions and opinions
until you've had time to build a good survey.”
The 2013 NEW Leadership
Academy series of one-hour webinars are offered to NEW members live on selected
Thursdays at 1 p.m. ET. They are available each following Monday as recorded
classes in the NEW Leadership Academy Study Hall.